A Brief Overview of Kidney transplant
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on each side of the spine just below the rib cage. Each is about the size of a fist. Their main function is to filter and remove waste, minerals and fluid from the blood by producing urine.
When your kidneys lose this filtering ability, harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in your body, which can raise your blood pressure and result in kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease). End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys have lost about 90% of their ability to function normally.
Common causes of end-stage kidney disease include:
- Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Chronic glomerulonephritis-an inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters within your kidneys (glomeruli)
- Polycystic kidney disease
What is need for Kidney transplant
A kidney transplant is often the treatment of choice for kidney failure, compared with a lifetime on dialysis. A kidney transplant can treat chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease to help you feel better and live longer.
Compared with dialysis, kidney transplant is associated with:
- Better quality of life
- Lower risk of death
- Fewer dietary restrictions
- Lower treatment cost
But for certain people with kidney failure, a kidney transplant may be more risky than dialysis. Conditions that may prevent you from being eligible for a kidney transplant include:
- Advanced age
- Severe heart disease
- Active or recently treated cancer
- Dementia or poorly controlled mental illness
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Any other factor that could affect the ability to safely undergo the procedure and take the medications needed after a transplant to prevent organ rejection.
Kidney transplantation can treat advanced kidney disease and kidney failure, but it is not a cure. Some forms of kidney disease may return after transplant.
The health risks associated with kidney transplant include those associated directly with the surgery itself, rejection of the donor organ and side effects of taking medications (anti-rejection or immunosuppressant’s) needed to prevent your body from rejecting the donated kidney.
Deciding whether kidney transplant is right for you is a personal decision that deserves careful thought and consideration of the serious risks and benefits. Talk through your decision with your friends, family and other trusted advisors.
Complications of the procedure
- Kidney transplant surgery carries a risk of significant complications, including:
- Blood clots and bleeding
- Leaking from or blockage of the tube (ureter) that links the kidney to the bladder
- Failure or rejection of the donated kidney
- An infection or cancer that can be transmitted with the donated kidney
- Death, heart attack and stroke
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Journal of Kidney Treatment and Diagnosis